The university of the future has African roots

With a fresh approach to new age tertiary education, the doors of learning are wide open at African Leadership University in Mauritius.

African Leadership Academy CEO Fred Swaniker, inaugural chancellor Graca Machel and Glasgow Caledonian University's Vice Chancellor Pamela Gillies. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

With a fresh approach to new age tertiary education, African Leadership University was started in 2013 in South Africa to address the shortages of tertiary education across the continent. Now operating from Mauritius, the venture is in its fourth year and continues to develop world-class African talent at a fraction of the cost.

Inspired by the country’s need to establish itself as one of Africa’s higher education hubs, with the move to Mauritius, Ghanaian educationalist Fred Swaniker found that the country had no restrictions on foreign exchange and was easy for pan-African businesses to conduct business in.

In addition, the country’s policies around cross-continent business make work permits, visa requirements and the safety of educators and students coming in and out of the country less of a concern.

Travelling through the paradise island of Mauritius for Standard Bank's Africa Connected, Nikiwe Bikitsha sat down with Swaniker to discuss innovative solutions to tertiary education.

When you’re setting up an institution like a university, you want parents to feel that the safety and security of their children will be taken care of.

Fred Swaniker, founder and CEO - African Leadership University

Focussed on offering a problem-oriented education, the university provides accredited undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education programmes that gears students towards addressing real world challenges through entrepreneurship.

Start with the problems you want to solve and then work backwards and curate your knowledge, and experiences to actually solve that problem.

Fred Swaniker, founder and CEO - African Leadership University

The university has identified seven ‘grand challenges’ that Africa may possibly face over the next 50 years, and its curriculum looks at helping students identify their missions in life, tackling these challenges and creating critical-thinking African leaders.

Our vision is to create 25 campuses like this all across Africa with 10,000 students each - ultimately to develop 3 million leaders for the continent over the next 50 years.

Fred Swaniker, founder and CEO - African Leadership University

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